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Raikkonen tests Sprint Cup, may pass on Nationwide

The story on Kimi Raikkonen changes by the hour with news that he's been testing a Sprint Cup car - but that he's not yet definitely committed to his Nationwide début this weekend after all.
It's very hard to keep up with Kimi Raikkonen - not just on the track, but on the whole budding NASCAR career trajectory.

Despite earlier reports that Raikkonen is on the entry list of this weekend's Top Gear 300 Nationwide Series race, it's emerged that he has not yet actually committed to driving Joe Nemechek's #87 NEMCO Motorsports Toyota at Charlotte Motor Speedway after all.

Instead came news that Kimi's spent Tuesday at Virginia International Raceway, testing the Robby Gordon Motorsports #7 Sprint Cup car on the road course there.

"Kimi Raikkonen testing the #7 at VIR today while Robby Gordon is out west," reported the PlanetRobby Twitter feed from the team. "This is Raikkonens first ever laps in a cup car. And he gets to do it in a RGM road course car."

Asked by a fan for lap times, the succinct answer came back: "They will not be published." However, some eyewitness accounts suggest that the nose of the #7 was rather the worse for wear after Raikkonen had run only half a dozen laps, and the team Twitter account suggested that this might be the case: "Kimi got off course & nose did what Carls did at Charlotte in grass," it reported.

The news of Raikkonen's Sprint Cup run comes after earlier speculation that Raikkonen might make the jump to NASCAR's top series next month on a road course - the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. VIR is often used as a testing ground for drivers to prepare for Sonoma.

Raikkonen restated his hope that he might be able to "run some Cup races" last week, just before his Truck Series début at Charlotte last Friday, and making his début on a road course would obviously make sense for someone as experienced on F1 circuits as Raikkonen is. In a similar spirit, Penske Racing have just announced that they will be running Jacques Villeneuve in this year's Nationwide road course events at Road America and Montreal.

According to Todd Hirschfeld, who has been managing Raikkonen's foray into the US motorsport scene this month, today's Sprint Cup test opportunity worked out well for both parties as Robby Gordon himself was otherwise committed in Mexico City for a sponsor meeting. The team got a free, high-calibre test driver while Raikkonen got a chance to try out the Car of Tomorrow first hand.

Gordon is scheduled to be back in Virginia to run the #7 on Wednesday. He tweeted: "Testing at ViR tomorrow, Iceman in car today. Trying to give him some SPEED!"

Talking to ESPN, Hirschfeld also cast doubt on the earlier apparent confirmations that Raikkonen was to run in the Top Gear 300 at the weekend.




Related Pictures

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Kimi Raikkonen, driver of the #15 Perky Jerky Toyota, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20 in Charlotte, N.C. [Picture credit: Streeter Lecka, Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Coating Systems Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Saturday night, May 16, 2015, in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, qualifies for second position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Kahne is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Pole winner Jeff Gordon, driver of the #5 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz and the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, races Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, talks to his crew chief, Alan Gustafson, on the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Chevrolet, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place racing with Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS who finishes in eleventh place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Gordon is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, sits in his car on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the Coors Light pole award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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pitstop - Unregistered

May 25, 2011 12:44 PM

I knew the truck thing would'nt last long the quicker he gets to the Sprint Cup series the better,i still think he is eyeing up that f1 red bull seat for next year.



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